223. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Kennedy0

SUBJECT

  • Acceptance of the Arrangements Regarding International Trade in Cotton Textiles

There is transmitted herewith for signature an instrument of accept-ance of the Arrangements Regarding International Trade in Cotton Textiles done at Geneva July 21, 1961.1

In accordance with Point 6 of your Textile Program, announced May 2, 1961, the Department of State arranged for a conference of principal textile exporting and importing countries to “seek an international understanding which will provide a basis for trade that will avoid undue disruption of established industries”. At a 16-nation meeting, which was called in Geneva by the Secretariat of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, an ad referendum agreement was reached July 21, 1961 on a [Page 474]short-term multilateral arrangement for the 12-month period beginning October 1, 1961, and on procedures for developing a long-term multilateral arrangement.

Under the short-term arrangement, if the United States finds that imports of cotton textiles are disrupting its markets, it may call upon the exporting country or countries concerned to restrain exports of those textiles at specified levels but not lower than those which prevailed during fiscal year 1961. If the requested restraint is not exercised, the United States may decline to accept imports at any higher level. The short-term arrangement also authorized similar action respecting imports of non-cotton textiles which frustrate the arrangement for cotton textiles.

The multilateral arrangement specifically authorizes bilateral arrangements on terms other than those in the multilateral arrangement.

With respect to a long-term multilateral arrangement, a Provisional Cotton Textile Committee, composed of representatives of all countries which accept the Geneva Arrangements, is scheduled to meet in October, 1961, and, by April 30, 1962, to recommend provisions for a long-term arrangement.

You have legal authority to accept the Geneva Arrangements.

Dean Rusk
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 394.41/8-2861. No classification marking.
  2. Not printed here. For an extract from this agreement, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1961, pp. 1238-1240.